Have cello, will travel
February 11, 2007 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a good travel agent. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and would love to find someone local, but I'm also open to other options.

With a group of people I'll be travelling a somewhat convoluted route next month (all within the US). I've searched the cheap-airline-ticket websites myself, but I would like to speak with a travel agent to see if he/she can get us a better deal.

How do I go about finding a good agent? I'd prefer to go on a personal recommendation, but if I have to pick someone out of the yellow pages, what are some questions I should ask them (beyond the obvious ones related to my travel dates, etc)?
I do like to support local businesses, so if anyone has personal recommendation based in the SF Bay Area, all the better, but all recommendations would be much appreciated.

Also, we'll be traveling with musical instruments (four people plus 1 cello equals five plane tickets), so bonus point for travel agents who are used to arranging travel for musicians.

Thanks for the help!
posted by purplefiber to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My father (of Berkeley, CA) swears by: GHA Travel.
posted by parmanparman at 9:28 PM on February 11, 2007

Best answer: Since you haven't gotten that much either way...

I do a lot of travel for work, and buy complicated itineraries that involve out-of-the-way places, odd-sized equipment, disconnected legs, specific places to layover or not, for groups of various sizes who sometimes can't travel on the same days, and all kinds of nuttiness.

I have been really incredibly happy with The Travel Collaborative, and work with Todd Easton there. He has always been fast to email or phone, knowledgable about the routes, patient with our unusual needs and destinations, etc. The fares offered by TC have always been as good to several hundred dollars lower than what Orbitz can offer. They are based out of the Boston, MA area, and his number is 800-370-7400, ext. 66.

The above recommendation is very specific because it's not uncommon for there to be uneven talent in one firm. If you do go with another more local choice, try to identify a specific person to contact.
posted by whatzit at 7:48 AM on February 12, 2007

I use a good travel agent who is located in Marin. I'm not sure if she has experience with booking groups of musicians but she's always come through for me. My email is in my profile if you're still looking for someone.
posted by quadog at 1:18 PM on February 12, 2007

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